The annual 24:7 Theatre Festival comes to town this week and Mancunians are being promised the chance to see some of the best new drama in the UK.
The prestigious festival, now in its ninth season, is now an important fixture in Manchester’s cultural calendar and provides a showcase for new and emerging talent.
The eight day event begins on Friday and more than 70 performances will take place in New Century House and Minute Theatre, in the renowned Afflecks Palace.
David Slack, the Festival’s Executive Producer is promising a variety of productions and believes the festival offers an opportunity to escape the stresses of everyday life.
“As always, this year’s shows provide a smorgasbord of drama. There are all shades of hero and anti-hero, on a variety of physical and emotional journeys,” he said.
“For our audiences it means being able to forget about recessions and rainy weather for 60 minutes and experiencing something that goes a little deeper than the latest Hollywood blockbuster.”
The 24:7 Theatre Festival 2012 will premier ten productions, including ‘All the Bens’, ‘Firestarter’ and ‘Loaded’, to add to the 136 already premiered in its history.
Festival Director Kathryn Worthington hopes the festival will attract a wide range of people, from theatre regulars to those who aren’t as familiar with the experience.
“There will also be special guest productions, script in hand readings and talks with notables from the region's theatre scene.
“It really is something that should make Manchester proud – a world class Festival that is the beating heart of new drama in the UK,” she said.
As well as the productions, there are a number of other activities planned by organisers including workshops and a Q&A session with David Fleeshman and Sue Jenkins, of Brookside fame.
The festival is mainly funded by sponsors Arts Council England, The Co-operative and Manchester City Council.
Councillor Rosa Battle, Manchester City Council's executive member for culture and leisure, said: “Manchester’s 24:7 Theatre Festival is one of the most innovative in the country and is a fantastic way to showcase new talent.
“It surprises, delights and moves in equal measure and this year’s programme is set to be one of the most imaginative yet.
“We’re really pleased to be able to support 24:7 because culture has a vital role to play in attracting visitors to our city, as well as generating real social benefits for our residents.”
The festival runs from July 20 – 27 and full details can be found at www.247theatrefestival.co.uk.
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